The Leftovers “Orange Sticker” Review

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Posted October 26, 2015 by Chad Waller in Nerdy Bits

You know, I think the new intro song for The Leftovers has finally grown on me. I wasn’t much of a fan for the first two episodes, thinking it a little too on the nose, but I’ve come around. It’s catchy, and it’s somewhat-uplifting tone acts as a nice contrast to the sheer bleakness of the show. However, lyrically, even the intro song is still kind of dark. The Leftovers really is a show that just doesn’t play well with happiness.

We finally get to return to Kevin, Nora, and Miracle Texas, but as John Murphy puts it, “There are no miracles in Miracle.”

It’s a statement I mumbled to myself during the first episode, yet to see and hear it directly really gives it impact. This is a town that houses the scared, the desperate, and the deluded. Everyone is huddled together praying a second departure won’t happen, begging there to be some answer, some mineral in the water, to keep them safe. Yet houses are burned down by firefighters, earthquakes happen, children disappear, and the place is practically a police state. None of this is new to us, yet it’s the first time it’s openly talked about. John Murphy, for all his criminal activity, is a realist.

“Orange Sticker” is perhaps best described as the episode that says everything we’ve been thinking. As Kevin is led around, first in helping to find the three lost girls from the first episode (though he’s really looking for his phone so he can’t be pinned to their disappearance (he too, is a realist)), to John dragging him to Isaac’s house so they can beat information out of him, everyone comments on the town and peoples’ motives for living there.

And it’s bleak as hell.

Patti steels the show this time around, following Kevin throughout and tempting him with information. She knows where his phone is, but more importantly, she knows what happened to Evie and her friends. All Kevin has to do is acknowledge her. He doesn’t want to of course, and as a viewer, I find this frustrating. She knows things, and given the supernatural aspect of the show, she’s very likely real and not a figment of his imagination. Yet I can sympathize with Kevin too. If he acknowledges her, he admits that she is real and not going to go away anytime soon. He admits that whatever was started in Mapleton isn’t over.

It’s good writing. I like that I can both be angry and sympathetic to Kevin–and pretty much anyone in the main cast at this point, save the Murphies.

Angry ghost or no, it’s also Patti that makes the episode bearable. Everything going on is depressing (as if that’s surprising to any of us at this point), and Patti manages to inject some humor into the situation. She swears often, she’s crass, and her stories don’t have happy endings, yet her delivery is on point and she’s always right. We all know that Kevin and Nora moved to Miracle hoping it would be the glue to keep their strange relationship together, and we know Nora wanted to move there because she’s terrified of another departure incident. They don’t seem it on the surface, but they’re just as scared and desperate as everyone else.

I also think they’re both starting to realize this from different angles, though when Nora visits her brother, he assures her that the town really is special. His story is remarkable, yet not all that believable. If Nora winds up buying it, it’ll be a forced purchase.

Like most episodes of this show, few questions are answered, and what answers are given only lead to more questions. Michael Murphy seems to know what’s going on in some respect, as does a strange, old man who walks around. He’s well known for what I assume are “ravings,” yet I also imagine his ravings are truths people simply don’t want to hear. Patti too brings up more questions than answers–especially when it’s confirmed that the crazy dude that sits up on his tower can see her–and while she seems nicer this go around than in season one, I still don’t trust her.

It’s the last ten or so minutes that really leave a major impact. Kevin finally acknowledges Patti, and Patti has nothing reassuring to say. It’s all heavy stuff, and it only promises worse things to come, especially for Kevin. At least Patti will be there to help him through it, right? Right?

 

 


About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.